Encouragement for Today - October 28, 2011
October 28, 2011
A Divine Interruption
"The word of the LORD came to Jonah...." Jonah 1:1 (NIV)
I couldn't wait to spend the whole afternoon alone. My husband was mountain biking and both of our children had plans for the day. All I could think of was the fact I would spend hours by myself...no one asking for anything...no one needing me. It was going to be a glorious day!
But then it happened. My daughter came bursting through the door saying she forgot she had a project due the next day. She needed me to take her here and rush there to purchase items she needed to complete it. Soon it became our project.
Frustration rose up within me with every step of the way. My words were few and short. I was clearly irritated and did not hesitate showing it. She was interrupting my plans.
Jonah experienced an unwelcome interruption, too. Jonah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was popular, successful, and highly respected. Then one day it happened. "The word of the LORD came to Jonah."(Jonah 1:1 NIV) and God interrupted his life of comfort with a command to leave his beloved country and people to preach—not to God's people—but to one of their most hated enemies.
God's call would take Jonah's life down a completely different path than the life he currently enjoyed. Jonah felt angry and frustrated...the same way I did when my daughter came bursting into the house...the same way we all do when an interruption disrupts our lives whether it be an adult child coming back home to live, an unexpected pregnancy, a job loss, a startling diagnosis or an unforeseen move.
Jonah was frustrated to such an extreme that he not only disobeyed God's instruction, he ran in the opposite direction to get as far away from God as he could.
If only Jonah could have seen the end of the story. He would have seen that this "divine" interruption was an invitation to participate in one of the more miraculous events in history, an opportunity to be part of God's eternal plan for His Kingdom.
Eventually Jonah obeyed, and God used him to bring about the revival of an entire nation of people. Jonah spoke only eight words, "Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4 NLT), and within 24 hours the people of Nineveh repented and turned from their wickedness! Some scholars believe this to be the greatest revival in human history.
Jonah's story helps me redefine "interruptions." In fact, it has made me examine every interruption to see if God's hand is in it...if there is something divine in which He is inviting me to partake.
Just a few weeks ago, we took our daughter to college. I would give anything to have that divine interruption back...to have an entire afternoon to shop with her and spend time working on a project together.
How might Jonah's story help you see the interruptions in your life differently? Join me today in trusting God with His plan, accepting His divine invitation to experience Him and be part of His plans in ways you may not expect. Will you yield your plan for His today?
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan for my life...a plan to prosper and not to harm me...a plan to give me hope and a future. Thank You that You allow divine interruptions in my life to draw me back into that plan if I ever wonder away or get too comfortable with where I am. Please give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to each and every divine interruption. Enable me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to obey. Amen.
Do You Know Jesus?
Visit Wendy's blog to learn more about her online Bible study on the book of Hebrews.
Is there a divine interruption in your life God is using to bring you into His plan? How will you respond?
Read the book of Jonah (only four chapters) and discover how God brought Jonah back on track with His plan.
Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)
Jonah 3:4-5, "Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city, proclaiming, 'Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.' The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth." (NIV)
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
© 2011 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105